DC takes on RC over CM's poll code violation

 The alleged violation of poll code by Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda during campaigning for election to the Legislative Council from the north east graduat’s constituency, has taken an ugly turn with the Deputy Commissioner taking on the Regional Commissioner.

K Ratna Prabha, regional commissioner and returning officer had recommended action against Deputy Commissioner Dr R Vishal for his failure to report the matter of violation of poll code by the chief minister during his election campaign here on June 4.

In a veiled attack on the RC’s recommendation to the Election Commission, Dr Vishal has said that, on June 8, the returning officer had asked him to submit a report on violation of code of conduct within an hour.

In a press release issued on Saturday, he maintained that the principle of natural justice has to be followed by seeking an explanation from the field level officers before filing a report. The press release clearly implies that it was not possible to submit a report on the violation of code of conduct by the chief minister and others within an hour.

Though the DC, who is also the district magistrate, has not questioned the authority of the RC in writing against him to the election commission, he said after obtaining a detailed report from the officials down the line, a suitable report will be filed not only to the returning officer but also to the election commission.

The DC’s press release clearly suggests that he too was empowered to write directly to the election commission.

He has pointed out that in two other cases of poll code violation, action was initiated only after obtaining explanation from the concerned, and in the case of violation of code of conduct by the chief minister too, the same procedure will be followed.

Though the chief minister accompanied by MP Ananth Kumar, a local minister, legislators and others addressed lawyers at the Bar Association, a government building, situated in the district court complex and adjacent to the district court on June 4, in violation of the code of conduct, the matter had gone unnoticed by the returning officer and additional returning officer.

Even when the newspapers reported the issue on June 5, no action was taken. It was only when someone orally complained to the RC on June 7 that the election authorities took the matter seriously.

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